Tuesday,March 1, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 9 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“We are not asking for anything more than other employees at Teck mines already enjoy.”
- Chris Nand  
- Local 9346   
Steelworkers Union President   


Following failed negotiations between Teck Coal and the United Steelworkers Local 9346 Union on February 17th, employees at Teck’s Elkview mine have now been on strike for over a month.
The strike began on January 30th, after failed negotiations between the company and the union regarding employee benefits and concerns, issues which have been ongoing since September, as the employees’ contract expired on October 31st.
At the discussions on February 17th, the union offered a counter-proposal to the company’s original offer, which included the withdrawal of several proposals and amendments to others.
These changes included the withdrawal of proposals for an increase in special vacation and Dobie dues, in exchange for Christmas Shutdown language, ability to bank stat holiday time, and another floater day per year, as well as the withdrawal of a request for a tool allowance increase, having New Year’s Day off, improvements to bereavement leave, and double time pay for stat holidays.
The proposal also included changes to overtime pay, days in lieu, life insurance and dental plan improvements, reimbursement for chiropractic and physiotherapy services, increased pay rates for employees who train other employees, that members on long term disability who are terminated receive extended health benefits, a wage increase of 4.5 per cent after the first year, 4.5 per cent increase in the second year, and four per cent every year after, a four year contract term, and that wage increases be retroactive to November 1, 2010.

Mertz also requested that Council endorse an application to the Federal Recreation Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program for additional funds to complete the project.
Currently, the program receives a total of $629,000 in funding, $184,000 of which comes from RInC, $144,000 from donations, $18,000 from grants, and $2,000 from the municipality.
The two groups could not reach an agreement and talks again broke off.
In a letter addressed to members of the union on February 22nd, Union President Chris Nand said that not only was the company disappointed with the outcome, but so was the union.
“Elkview did not make any changes or offers and were unwilling to move on anything at all,” said Nand. “There was nowhere else to go, and that is why the talks only lasted for 1.5 hours that day.”
Elkview General Manager Larry Davey said in a letter to union members, “unfortunately, the strike will continue until such time the Union Bargaining Committee decides to significantly close the gap between proposals.”
In response, Nand said the company has shown little willingness to negotiate in order to reach a compromise.
“We are not asking for anything more than other employees at Teck mines already enjoy,” said Nand. “Remember that Teck brought in $1.5 billion in profits last year off (our) sweat and labour.”
“Our complete Bargaining Committee is ready to meet with the company when they are ready to negotiate,” said Nand. “We hope that this is soon as we do not want to be out on strike either.”

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   Volume 81 - Issue 9 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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